Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

AU Rhythm forms family bond through dance

Students can find the AU Rhythm Dance Team at Auburn University Dance Marathon, Relay for life, Greek Sing or The Big Event. They perform in a hip-hop style and practice consistently to prepare for campus appearances.

AU Rhythm mixes their own music, choreographs their own dances and promotes a love for dancing on Auburn’s campus to both men and women, according to former captain of the team and current co-captain, Keali Hemmenway. 

“AU Rhythm is a group that, even though we do ... one style of dance, everybody’s personality shows through, so everybody puts their own twist to the dances that we do,” Hemmenway said. 

Being a member in AU Rhythm does not require a major in dance — social chair Charlotte Sadar is a fourth-year architecture student who has been dancing most of her life.

“You don’t need an insane amount of dance experience to become a part of this team,” Sadar said. “That’s one of the best parts about it is, we have all different levels of dance.” 

Jenny Lincoln, senior in anthropology with a double minor in Asian and women’s studies, is the current captain of AU Rhythm. She tried out for the team her sophomore year, despite originally wanting to join her freshman year. Lincoln said it was fear that held her back. 

She, like Sadar, had been dancing for years before joining AU Rhythm. She didn’t pick up hip-hop, however, until high school. 

Hemmenway described the team as one big family. Sadar plans events for the team to bond outside of practice, like an upcoming visit to Surge Trampoline Park. 

“The most unique aspect is that we’re very diverse,” Hemmenway said. “We have a bunch of different types of people, a lot of different cultures that come into AU Rhythm.” 

A regular practice includes the team chatting, laughing and catching up before any dancing starts. When the clock hits 7 p.m., it’s down to business for the dancers. 

“I think AU Rhythm fosters a warm and accepting environment where people don’t have to put on a facade,” Lincoln said. “Yes, we work hard. Yes, sometimes it gets intense. But, all of that hard work is mixed with jokes, laughing and room for individual expression that we encourage all dancers to have.” 

For ten to fifteen minutes, the dancers warm up and prepare for the new moves, following the warm-up with a cardio work out. 

Then for the next hour and a half, students try to perfect their choreography and moves. The entire team connects and discusses practice together afterward. 

Ultimately, the performances give AU Rhythm a chance to not only dance but spread their name. While tryouts are held, the goal is to find passionate members who are dedicated to dance, Lincoln said. 

“That being said, there is a diversity of skill levels across the team, and the dances we do cater to a number of different styles,” Lincoln said. “I find that everyone finds their niche in at least several dances.”

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

Share and discuss “AU Rhythm forms family bond through dance” on social media.